An American woman has confessed to being an "abortion addict" after terminating 15 pregnancies in 17 years.

Forty-year-old Irene Vilar released her book, Impossible Motherhood: Testimony of an Abortion Addict, on October 6, a candid account of her series of pregnancies and abortions.

"I am worried about my safety and the hate mail," she told ABC News.

"No book like this has ever been written."

According to ABC, Vilar has gone so far as to ensure her name and address do not appear on any public records.

Her two children are home-schooled and she will not be conducting any tours in support of the book.

Impossible Motherhood follows her journey from childhood in Puerto Rico, where her mother committed suicide when Vilar was eight.

She entered Sycaruse University at the age of 15, and later married a 50-year-old professor. Although her husband had no desire for children, she "rebelled" by failing to take her birth control pills.

"In the beginning I was taking pills and I'd skip a day or two or give up one month," she wrote.

"But slowly, my days took on a balancing act and there was a specific high. I would get my period and be sad, then discover I was pregnant, being afraid, yet also so excited."

Vilar was warned by a doctor she might never be able to carry a child to full term - multiple abortions put women at a higher risk of cervical damage.

However, the literary agent now has two daughters from her final pregnancies.

"Mine is a story that in part reveals the lack and then emergence of a sense of responsibility when I exercised my right to abortion," she wrote.

"My promise to the reader is to deliver an account of my addiction, a steady flow of unhappiness, the x-ray of a delusion, and ultimately, the redeeming face of motherhood."

ABC reported that Impossible Motherhood was rejected 51 times before being published by Other Press.

Vilar wrote her first memoir in 1996, called The Ladies' Gallery.

- NZ HERALD STAFF